Slow to Clue In

By Dave Fratello | May 10th, 2011
Quick, guess: If you buy a house, close escrow and then immediately try to resell it, will you make money or lose money?

Now, ask: Why were you able to answer that question so easily, but the sellers of 861 10th are only now getting around to it?

It was June last year when the current owners of this big, attractive Hill Section Craftsman (5br/6ba, 4500 sq. ft.) took title. Though approaching one year of ownership now, they had it back on the market last August after just 5 weeks. (See "Hey, Didn't They Just Buy That?")

It was a change in the nature of a new SoCal job that triggered the sudden resale. MBC summarized what we were told then:

The story is that the current owners came to Southern California from outside the area, expecting a certain kind of commute to a certain work area. But the new job has worked out differently than expected, with more time in Orange County and a drive that isn't any kind of pleasant.

Maybe best to switch cities before growing roots.
Having paid $2.635m for the home in June 2010, the sellers started by seeking $2.699m last August.

That little markup could almost be forgiven, as the sellers were going to have to pay some commissions just to get out, and would have surely liked to get those paid partly with a higher sale price. Also, these new owners had purchased the home when it was listed for $2.695m after just a few DOM. Maybe they got a deal no one else could get?

Regardless, surely they'd have considered an offer for around what they had just paid. Only reasonable.

But nearly 4 months tolled by and there were no buyers. The listing canceled around Thanksgiving.

Just before the Super Bowl this year, 861 10th was back. A new agent launched it at $2.749m, more than $100k above the June 2010 price. How was that supposed to work?

It didn't, and neither did last month's chop to $2.675m.

Today is the first time that 861 10th has been priced below last year's level, at $2.595m.

In the 9 full months since the home first returned to market, 16 sales have closed in the Hill Section, 9 of those priced above $2m. None, of course, was 861 10th. But maybe now it has a chance.

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